How would you measure the progress of your relationship with the significant other? Some might view the level of understanding of each other’s personality. Some might view the efforts spent on each other as an indication. Perhaps a few others would consider the monetary value of the gifts from the guy as a form of measurement?
There are probably countless other ways.
Personally, I would think that its very important to always assess if the relationship is progressing… whether there’s a future together. And I would measure the progress and depth of a relationship in the following ways:
1. There is mutual trust.
Trust is arguably the key fundamental factor for the survival and growth of any relationship. However, building trust takes time and effort. It is slowly developed, honed and nurtured throughout the relationship. But it could also be shattered in a moment’s folly. When you both have absolute confidence in each other’s commitment towards the relationship, that’s probably a damn good sign.
• No spying on and wiretapping each other’s cell phones or calendars.
• No thoughts that your partner plans to run off with his/her attractive single friend.
You can probably feel it when there’s that level of mutual trust present. It totally rocks doesn’t it?
2. Showing your real, true selves.
In the initial stages of a relationship, some people (including myself) may put on certain ‘fronts’ for the other party, and hide some not-so-desirable characteristics of ourselves.
Like peeling the numerous layers of an onion, you know when the relationship has progressed far when all the layers have been peeled and nothing is left but the true, innate self of that person.
Transparent. Vulnerable. No more masks. No deception.
Our deepest feelings and thoughts are shared with each other. We cry in front of each other. We talk about every single shit without holding back any secrets.
3. Always encouraging each other.
This is where the romantic Valentino would not be needed as it won’t be about how excited you can make each other feel. Its time to be the best friend to your partner! To put on the hat of:
• Being a great confidante and listening to his/her problems.
• Being a great motivational coach and cheer him/her on.
And of course knowing the right words to say instead of making things worse (requires some experience). One example that I knew that my relationship was moving along great was the fact that my fiancée always showed confidence in me, especially during certain times when I have lost confidence and belief in myself.
She’s more than just a lover… she’s also my best friend. The best relationship is when you both can act as lovers and best friends at the same time.
4. Ability to make each other laugh… always.
The ability to make each other smile and laugh, ALWAYS, is probably a quality that comes only with a lot of mutual understanding and time spent together. Where all else in the world has failed to make you laugh – be it the humorous comedian Russell Peters or your favourite TV show Family Guy.
Only that partner of yours can do the trick. (well, maybe cos he/she was the source of your unhappiness in the first place?) There are certain things that I can say to my fiancée to make her smile… all the time, whether she had a bad day or a good one.
It’s that magic ‘laughter’ formula that only you both know.
5. It’s about us, not just myself.
Some might say that love is selfish. Yeah its true if are participating in The Hunger Games to win the prize, which in this case is the person you like. But after you have weeded out the competition to win over the girl/guy, selflessness is probably a good indication about the depth of the relationship. It can no longer be about just your needs or pointing all faults at the other party.
No longer can selfish opinions like this be held: “What’s yours is now mine, but what’s mine is still mine alone.” In the words of my fiancée recently, we both are a single entity now. We share each others’ weals and woes, and both our opinions matter.
6. Accepting each other’s flaws.
First of all, no one’s perfect. Anyone who says they have no flaws ought to be shot. Anyone who says they need not work on their flaws ought to be flogged.
• It’s easy to point to point out another’s flaws no doubt. Anyone can do that.
• But in a great relationship, the couple can also accept each other’s flaws, as well as acknowledge the flaws that our partners point out to us.
Personally, I know my relationship sorta progressed well when instead of merely pointing out the other person’s mistakes, we both also started to admit our own flaws as well. (still Work-In-Progress though) Have patience with your partner’s flaws, and the graciousness to admit your own.
7. Paying attention to small details.
The small details always matter. They are hardly noticeable at the infancy stage of a relationship but they should become more obvious to each party as the relationship progresses. Why? Simply because if a small detail were overlooked, the potential effect could be HUGE and definitely NOTICEABLE. Yeah… you probably got that.
Getting the wrong-coloured flowers may seem negligible from the perspective of guys, but it means a hell lot more to the girls. I know that… been there myself. The small details always matter. (Just to reiterate this point!)
8. Knowing how each other tick.
If a relationship has progressed far, there should probably be a good understanding of each other’s ‘love language’, as coined by Gary Chapman in The 5 Love Languages.
• For instance, a guy feels that his own way of expressing love is through physical touch and does so to his girl.
• His girl however, prefers the love to be expressed through spending quality time together instead.
• This difference might cause the girl to think she is not loved sufficiently?
To avoid that, the guy should thus use the ‘love language’ that his partner would preferably like to receive. This takes a massive amount of time to figure out, man.
9. Leaving the past behind
A relationship cannot progress forward unless certain things are left behind. That includes past spats and disagreements about anything under the sun. It can be tiring and frustrating for a couple to constantly argue over the same old issues. Yeah… it is. Really. We are not archaeologists, so lets not dig up the past.
10. Seeing a future together.
After leaving the past behind, now is there a future ahead for us? I always ask myself these few questions:
• Do we have similar goals?
• Are our personalities compatible?
• Are we driven by the same things in life?
• Can I live with her on a daily basis?
It will probably be fuzzy and unclear in the earlier stages of the relationship, but the vision of the future should ideally become clearer as the relationship moves along. And if any differences can be ironed out, then I guess the relationship is getting somewhere great. :)